chapter  13
The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science
Pages -332

Causalism is the traditional attitude of disowning all noncausal categories of determination, holding dogmatically that every connection in the world is causal. The entirely negative attitude taken by indeterminism and by empiricism toward the principle of causation is inconsistent with the very goal of science, which is the search for the objective forms of determination and interconnection. This chapter deals with the question concerning the range of validity of the causal principle. The notion of causal range of the laws of nature will be clarified and illustrated, by analyzing in some detail a typical physical law with which every student of electricity is familiar. Science seems to show neither an enlargement nor a progressive shrinking of the domain of validity of the causal principle. Most scientists and philosophers of science believed that quantum mechanics had given causality the death blow, by showing that quantum phenomena are inherently random, hence only statistically predictable.